Monday, October 11th
Today, I tried ringing my PMI firm to ask what the procedure was if the scan showed that I needed to be referred to a consultant. This was even worse than trying to get through to the NHS. Fortunately, I was WFH today, so I just put the phone down next to the laptop and at least didn’t have to worry about being interrupted, but it took 55 minutes for someone to answer. The person who answered was very apologetic, and I got the distinct impression that they were constantly listening to complaints about how long it took to get through, and obviously it wasn’t their fault, and, as usual, you can’t get to speak to the people in charge, but I was nearly in tears by then. I’d tried the online service but it just kept saying “no agents are available”. And, after all that, all I got was that I should ring back when I’d got the scan results … which was fair enough, but, by the time I’d waited 55 minutes for someone to answer, then gone through all the rigmarole security questions, then explained the situation, it took an hour and a quarter just to be told to ring back.
There’s been a large and rather violent demo in Rome against vaccine passports. Italy’s rules are pretty draconian. And Sydney’s lockdown’s ended, after 107 days.
Tuesday, October 12th
The official report into the UK’s response to Covid has said that things were handled very badly at first, but that the vaccine rollout was a great success. A few salient points:
- We should have locked down earlier, although the Government did follow scientific advice on aiming for herd immunity. I still think that herd immunity’s a thing, because the highest rates now are in areas which previously had low rates, and vice-versa, but the virus went for the most vulnerable people and that resulted in a tragic loss of many lives.
- Releasing people from hospitals into care homes was a tragic mistake, as was the lack of testing for care home staff. At the time, the idea was to free up hospital beds, and I get that, but the death toll in care homes was terrible.
- There were failings over PPE.
- Some interesting comments about borders. I’ve got no idea how they’ve worked this out, but the report says that 33% of cases during the first wave came from Spain and 29% from France. At the time, the focus was all on the Far East, and then on Iran and Italy.
- The whole local lockdown was a shambles. That’s putting it mildly.
- There should have been more testing early on.
- The pandemic response was based on plans for a flu pandemic, which weren’t appropriate in this case.
- There’s a lot of talk about “group-think”
People are busily using this to try to score political points, which isn’t helpful. And what’s done is done. All we can do is try to learn from it, although hopefully nothing like this will happen again any time soon.
Oh, and George Freeman, the “Science Minister”, has said that the UK’s had a high Covid death toll because we’re all too fat.
Wednesday, October 13th
The Covid app went down today. It’s working again now, but apparently there was chaos at airports. I don’t understand why people don’t print stuff out in case something like this happens!
Trafford’s infection rates are still sky high and getting higher. Very odd how one borough is so much worse than the others.
Thursday, October 14th
Sajid Javid’s announced extra funding for GPs, but said that they’ve got to see more people face to face. Good. I wish he’d also tell them to bring back online booking and online triage so you don’t have to spend an hour trying to get through on the phone – although, to be fair, I think most surgeries are doing that anyway. I just wish ours was.
Friday, October 15th
Due to holidays being cancelled because of you-know-what, I had a spare holiday day and, not having been to either Shugborough or Trentham Gardens this year, I decided to find somewhere to stay in Staffordshire, and booking.com found me The Upper House, which used to belong to one of the Wedgwoods and is just off the Wedgwood Estate, and very close to Trentham Gardens. I went to the Monkey Forest first, then the gardens, then the Wedgwood tea room (sorry, had to be done), and then came to the hotel. How cute are these monkeys?!
Plus it’s kind of distracted me from this horrendously stressful situation of waiting for more medical tests and imagining all sorts. It really is very, very, difficult.
Some awful, awful news, though – MP Sir David Amess has been stabbed to death during a constituency surgery. What has the world come to? Two MPs have been murdered in 5 1/2 years. It would have been unthinkable a decade ago. So much hatred. What is wrong with the world? That poor, poor man, and his poor family and friends.
Saturday, October 16th
FFS. We lost 3-2 at Leicester. This cannot go on. On a happier note, Cam Norrie’s reached the Indian Wells final.
It now seems that the man who murdered Sir David Amess was an Islamic fundamentalist … only days after an Islamic fundamentalist murdered five people in Norway. Awful.
Today, I went to Boscobel House and White Ladies Priory, where Charles II hid after the Battle of Worcester. And this is the Royal Oak in which he hid! OK, it isn’t, because the original was wrecked by 17th century souvenir hunters, but it *is* grown from one of the original oak’s acorns. And then I had afternoon tea at the hotel.
Sunday, October 17th
Shugborough today, then home.